Your ankles are some of the body’s many weight-bearing joints — bone junctions that support your weight. It is exactly for this reason why they are susceptible to getting injured as well as at risk of osteoarthritis, which is a form of arthritis that’s primarily due to the normal wear and tear of cartilage in the joint.
It’s important to keep your ankles strong and injury-free; otherwise, performing some very common activities such as walking, running and climbing stairs can prove to be a challenge. Athletes most especially have to maintain ankle strength in order for them to be able to ace trainings and competitions. Furthermore, having strong ankles can help keep risk of injuries to a minimum during their performance.
Whether or not you are an athlete, the significance of having strong and healthy ankles cannot be stressed enough. So how can you keep your ankles in tip-top shape as well as improve its ability to function? By carrying out some very simple ankle-strengthening exercises which you will find below, that’s how!
Performing ankle-strengthening exercises tackled below need not feel like a drag because they are trouble-free to perform. Some of them require you to use something that can help provide resistance (which is necessary for strengthening the muscles around the ankles) such as a belt or jump rope. It’s also perfectly fine for you to use a resistance band, which can be easily purchased at most sports and fitness stores. The best resistance band for working out your ankles is the kind that’s out of latex and measures 6 inches across.
So without further ado, here’s how you can keep your ankles in an excellent shape:
Begin by standing with your feet together. Bend your right knee and support your weight with your left leg. Maintain such position for 30 seconds. Afterwards, stand on your right leg for another 30 seconds.
Tossing and Catching While Balancing
This ankle-strengthening exercise requires you to grab a ball and workout with a partner. Standing on one leg, throw and catch the ball 30 times. See to it that you throw and catch the ball in all sorts of ways — high, low, left, right. Perform the same routine standing on your other leg.
Stand behind a chair and grab the backrest. Perform a half squat while keeping the soles of your feet pressed against the ground. Go back to the starting position. Do everything 10 times. Want more challenge? Do one-legged half squats by placing one of your legs out front each time. Complete 2 to 3 sets consisting of 10 reps each.
Despite of what they’re called, calf raises are not only for toning the calf muscles — they also help strengthen the muscles supporting your ankles. While standing, take your heels off the floor. Hold the position for a second. Carefully place them back on the floor. Perform 2 to 3 sets, with each sets consisting of 20 sets.
Seated Calf Raises
It’s also a good idea to perform calf raises while you are seated in order to target the muscles around your ankles. Just follow the instruction above, but do everything while you’re seated on a stool, chair or exercise bench.
Begin this exercise by assuming a lunging position. Instead of lunging forward, hop. While you’re in midair, quickly switch legs and land with your other foot forward. Perform 10 to 15 times.
This exercise is performed while you’re seated. Also, you should grab a jump rope or a long belt. A spare bag strap is also perfect for the routine. If you have purchased the resistance band discussed earlier, the better!
To get started, stretch one leg out in front of you and slide the exercise tool of your choice under the foot. While grabbing the ends of the jump rope, belt or bag strap, tilt your foot to the left. Next, tilt your foot to the right. Flex your foot towards you. Repeat everything using your other foot.